Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

Bedlam at The Globe

Jason Baughan, Patrick Brennan, Daon Broni, Phil Cheadle, Sam Crane, Sophie Duval, Sean Kearns, James Lailey, Danny Lee Winter, Rose Leslie, Kevork Malikyan, Barbara Marten, Ella Smith, Lorna Stuart, Joseph Timms, Finty Williams, Jade Williams

Writer: Nell Leyshon
Composer: Olly Fox
Director: Jessica Swale
Reviewer: Michael Gray

9 September 2010

This production of a new musical play at Shakespeare's Globe was of particular interest because your Editor is a retired psychiatrist who used to work at the current Royal Bethlem Hospital, successor to the 18th C Bedlam depicted.

Alas, despite some poetical flights of fancy, Nell Leyshan is no Shakespeare and there is more wrong with this play than right. Despite the writer's diligent researches, "the transition from “archaic” to “modern” medicine is so benign and uncomplicated that it could have come from a flyer absent-mindedly picked up on the ward..." [MusicOMH].

The music, however, including reworkings of English folk songs such as “A Maid in Bedlam”, is well managed. Good "entertainment", more so in the first Act, but overall disappointing, and no match for last year's modern theatre piece The Frontline, also with music by Olly Fox.

Peter Grahame Woolf

A selection of reviews via Google: